Their situation came to light during the recent rain that marooned the village. The residents had to trek seven km and cross five jungle streams to reach the plains that lay just 500 feet below, said Venketaraman, a tribal resident.
As their houses are small, cooking is till done in the open, which gets affected during rain, said Govindaraj village headman (Oor goundar). Saroja and Rajammal from the hamlet added that though they wanted to cook on stoves, gas connections were impossible to get due to the absence of a road to reach this tribal hamlet.
“Though we did give petitions for cooking gas connections, nothing came of it,” they added.
There are no petty shops in this hamlet to meet urgent needs, forcing them to come to the plains to make purchases. “The nearest Primary Health Centre (PHC) is at far away Kaniyambadi. So even today, we carry patients in dhoolies if they need medical treatment,” added Govindaraj.
Even communication is an issue in this hamlet, as there are no towers nearby to ensure mobile phone connectivity. “One has to sit atop a rock deep inside the forest which is the only location from where we pick up at least a weak connection,” said Venketaraman.
During emergencies, relatives in the plains call the “watchman” atop the ‘tower rock’ and pass the information, which he then tells the person concerned in the hamlet.
The travails of the people would end if even a ground level causeway was built.
“Then we would not need to hop, skip and jump over stones as we do now when we cross jungle streams during rain. Also, all facilities, including healthcare and PDS, will reach our village,” said Govindaraj, adding that they were hoping to get help from the government in this regard.